Current Studentships

Keele University studentships, when available, are funded internally or from external sponsors such as research councils or from industry. If you are interested in any of the studentships available you can apply online.

Research Topic Healthy Work Life Expectancy
Reference number: RPCH2017-01
Abstract

We are looking to recruit to an ESCR +3 collaborative studentship for PhD research, hosted by the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS) at Keele University. iPCHS is the largest and most successful Research Institute at Keele. It is dedicated to undertake research that will improve the quality of life for people with arthritis, chronic musculoskeletal pain, mental health and associated comorbidities. It hosts the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre-of-Excellence, is a current member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research and holds the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Pioneering the early prevention and treatment of chronic pain. 91% of Keele's research in Primary Care has been judged world leading or internationally excellent (Ref 2014). 


The PhD Project is especially timely in the context of plans to extend working life among older age groups. With increasing emphasis on improving quality as well as quantity of life, both length and nondisabled life and total life expectancy have become useful and important indicators of population well-being and musculoskeletal health. In addition to disability free life expectancy, Healthy Work Life Expectancy (HWLE) has been proposed which provides an estimate of the number of years that adults can be working and healthy. In the United Kingdom (UK), the relationship between musculoskeletal conditions and work is demanding more attention, particularly with plans to extend working life meaning that there will be a greater number of adults with musculoskeletal conditions who are expected to remain in work. However, despite acceptance of a strong link, the reasons for work absence for adults with musculoskeletal conditions have yet to be clearly identified. Identifying the key factors and mechanisms to a reduction in HWLE will direct strategies and interventions to reduce work disability and improve quality of life. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 (3 years)
Fees Fees are provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional oversees fees (currently £11,000pa) themselves.
Stipend Funding is available for three/four years to cover fees for PhD registration and a research studentship stipend currently £17,553 per annum for 2017-18. Non-EU students would be required to pay the balance (currently approximately £11,000 per annum) of the overseas fees themselves.
Closing date 5th May 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Occurrence, risk factors and complications of giant cell arteritis (GCA): A series of cohort studies using electronic primary and secondary care health records
Reference number: RPCH2017/01
Abstract

The Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences has a strong research programme in the field of inflammatory arthritis and expertise in large routinely collected data analysis. Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is mainly diagnosed and managed in primary care, yet there is dearth of information to support clinical decision making and to inform patients. This project will provide important data to support health professionals working in both primary and secondary care and could inform national and international guidelines. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 for 3 years full time or six years part time
Fees All fees are paid at current UK/EU rates, for three years full time or six years part time only. Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date Friday 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Imaging for common musculoskeletal conditions in primary care: rationale and decision making
Reference number: RPCH2017/02
Abstract

Musculoskeletal pain conditions are one of the most common reasons for primary care consultation and are often associated with requests for diagnostic imaging, including x-ray, ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). However, imaging findings are often not well associated with patients presenting symptoms and rarely offer useful guidance for father management. 


One of the priorities of the Muscuoloskeletal Pain research programme, and the wider Research Institute (RI), is to better understand the role of diagnosis of common musculoskeletal conditions to better inform the development of clinically and cost-effective interventions. Hence, understanding the reasons why diagnostic imaging is requested by primary care clinicians and patients and how the information gained is used to guide decisions about treatment will directly contribute to this priority while developing clinical academic capacity, contributing to research outputs, including peer-reviewed publications, and facilitating public engagement. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 for three years full time or six years part time.
Fees All fees are paid at current UK/EU rates, for three years full time and six years part time only. Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time only.
Closing date Friday 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Improving care and quality of life for adults with osteoarthritis at risk of cardiovascular disease
Reference number: RPCH2017/03
Abstract

Disease of the heart and blood vessels, such as hear attacks and stroke, are a leading cause of death and reduced quality of life in people with osteoarthritis. Identifying the risk factors and frequency of heart attacks and stroke in people with osteoarthritis will help to offer better ways of preventing them. Many of the causes can be found and treated through healthcare and guidelines are in place to help prevention. However it is unknown how well people with osteoarthritis are assessed and treated for factors that lead to cardiovascular disease. The overall aim of this work is to reduce the number of people with osteoarthritis who go onto have a heart attack or stroke. 


This study aims to identify what leads to heart attack and stroke in people with osteoarthritis, how they are treated and is this differs to people without osteoarthritis. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 for three years full time and six years part time
Fees All fees paid at current UK/EU rates, for three years full time and six years part time only. Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date Friday 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Development and evaluation of statistical methods for meta-analysis of longitudinal data to reduce research waste
Reference number: RPCH2017/04
Abstract

Statistical methods for meta-analysis and evidence synthesis are increasingly popular tools in medical research, as they synthesise quantitative information across multiple studies to produce evidence-based results. Methods for both traditional (based on published aggregate data) and individual participant data (IPD) meta-analyses have been extensively developed to allow for increasingly complex scenarios. However, there are several unresolved methodological challenges when combining data from studies that have longitudinal responses. 


Many studies in primary care report treatment effect estimates for the outcomes of interest at multiple times due to follow-up assessments in long term conditions, including chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. However, the meta-analysis often just chooses one time-point, and thus throws away vulnerable information, which constitutes research waste. 


The PhD project will address this by developing and evaluating methods that jointly synthesis all time-point simultaneously, which will allow more data and studies to be retained. In particular, novel approaches will allow for heterogeneity in the treatment effect estimates across studies, how to combine IPD and aggregate data when the IPD is unavailable for some studies, and how to evaluate treatment-covariate interactions at multiple time-points. 


Evidence synthesis and methodology research are core research interests of the RI, and the proposed project will fit within the Prognosis research stream and link to the systematic review team. The results will enhance the methodology used within systematic reviews and IPD meta-analyses of longitudinal responses conducted within the RI, for example the STEER OA project, support our external collaborations in evidence synthesis research, enrich our course on evidence synthesis using individual participant data, and help maintain our standing as a leading methodology research unity in IPD meta-analysis and prognosis methods. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 for three years full time and six years part time
Fees All fees paid at current UK/EU rates, for three years full time and six years part time only. Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time and six years part time only.
Closing date Friday 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Use of metaphors in the management of people with chronic musculoskeletal pain; a qualitative study
Reference number: RPCH2017/05
Abstract

In this study, we aim to investigate the current use of metaphors in the management of people with chronic musculoskeletal pain and compile a collection of metaphors used in routine practice. Chronic musculoskeletal pain is defined as pain that persists for 3+ months and affects muscles and/or joints (e.g. low back pain, osteoarthritis-related pain). Then we will explore the usefulness of these metaphors and determine how these may be refined to improve their usefulness in enhancing the management of people with these conditions. 


Our aim is to explore the existing metaphors used by clinicians and also support future development of a metaphors-based intervention that could be incorporated into low intensity brief CBT interventions delivered by non-specialist/generalists and testing their clinical and cost effectiveness. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 for three years full time and six years part time
Fees All fees paid at current UK/EU rates for three years full time or six years part time only. Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time and six years part time only.
Closing date Friday 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Trends and determinants of survival for patients on renal replacement therapy over time
Reference number: RPCH2017/06
Abstract

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the severe end of the spectrum of Chronic Kidney Disease, requiring some form of renal replacement therapy (RRT) to stay alive. RRT is an expensive treatment, consuming up to 2% of the NHS budget for a population of around 50,000 patients. Furthermore, the number of patients requiring RRT is growing steadily with no signs of this rise stopping. 


RRT options consist of peritoneal dialysis (PD), haemodialysis (HD) or renal transplantation. Unfortunately, although transplantation is generally a better option for mortality and morbidity, patients are frequently either too frail to receive a renal transplant or have to wait a considerable period of time before receiving a transplant. Particularly for younger patients, this means that they may well transition between numerous different RRT modalities over the course of their lifetime. 


Dialysis treatment remains problematic, with a 5-year survival frequently worse than many cancer diagnoses but there have been significant changes in clinical management and technology for these treatments over many years. How much these changes have impacted on survival remains unclear, with studies of renal patients, and dialysis patients in particular, frequently struggling to attract the grants necessary for the large randomised controlled trials necessary to determine effects upon patient survival. 


In this scenario, it is particularly important to derive maximal information from observational data. In the UK all RRT patients are recorded in the national UK Renal Registry, which has been recording data since 1997 and has complete UK data from 2007. Survival analysis adjusting for age suggests that survival in these patients has been improving but with different trends over time for HD and PD patients. Relative survival analysis, effectively matching for changes in the general population for survival rates, suggests that the improvements in survival for dialysis patients is primarily in the younger population, apparently contradicting the survival analysis adjusting for age. Furthermore, both of these analyses fail to account for changing rates of transplantation and the survival of the transplant function, as well as differences over time in the utilisation of the different dialyses modalities. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Available from October 2017 for three years full time and six years part time only
Fees All fees paid at current UK/EU rates, for three year full time and six years part time only. Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time only
Closing date Friday 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Temporal trends and outcomes following acute myocardial infarction; an electronic health record (EHR) database study.
Reference number: IACS 2017 - 02
Abstract

We are looking to recruit a PhD student for a study set within the fields of cardiovascular medicine and statistics, which will benefit from expertise within two research institutes at Keele University. The Keele Cardiovascular Research group is based in the Institute for Applied Clinical Sciences (IACS) and has developed close links with the institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS) and the Centre for Prognosis Research. The multidisciplinary team has an established track record of original research using national electronic healthcare databases and state of the art statistical methodology to study optimal treatment strategies, risk stratification and outcomes in patients with cardiovascular diseases. The Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS) is the largest and most successful Research Institute at Keele. 91% of Keele’s research in Primary Care has been judged world leading or internationally excellent by the Public Health, Health Services Research, and Primary Care assessment panel of the 2014 Universities UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF).  


We are looking to recruit a PhD student to work on the following project:


Temporal trends and outcomes following acute myocardial infarction; an electronic health record database study. The aim of this funded PhD is to use high quality electronic healthcare data to study temporal trends, clinical outcomes and complications following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) over a 25-year period using national in-hospital data derived from the United States. The specific objectives are to describe temporal and regional trends in patient risk factor and comorbidity profiles, as well as treatments and clinical outcomes following AMI. The student will develop statistical models to identify which risk factors have contributed importantly to observed temporal changes, and heterogeneity in patient outcomes following AMI. Furthermore, the PhD aims to study temporal trends in complications following treatment of AMI, using statistical models to define how their nature has changed over time and to identify and predict the risk of patient subgroups sustaining such complications. Methodology research will form an important part of the studentship, in terms of the development and evaluation of statistical methods for analysing big data for prognosis research, and the impact of heterogeneity on prediction models.


For an informal discussion or to arrange a visit, please contact Lead Supervisor Professor Mamas Mamas (mamasmamas1@yahoo.co.uk), and Co Supervisor Joie Ensor (j.ensor@keele.ac.uk) and advisor Professor Richard Riley (r.riley@keele.ac.uk).


Applicants should have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A Masters degree in a statistical discipline is desirable. Funding is available for three years to cover fees for PhD registration currently (2016/17 home/EU rates: £4,121pa) and a research studentship stipend of currently £14,057 per annum for 2016/17. Non-EU students would be required to pay the balance (currently approximately £8,000 per annum) of the overseas fees themselves).

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time. Available from September 2017.
Fees All fees paid at current UK/EU rates, for three years only.

Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time


Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rates (2017/8 stipend £14,553 per annum). for three years full time.
Closing date 28th April 2017

Apply online here


Research Topic Investigate the effect of sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells on endothelial cells and astrocytes of the blood brain barrier, in cerebral malaria
Reference number: FNS GS 2016-09
Abstract

Applications are invited for a self-funded 3-year PhD studentship.  This study will investigate changes in human brain endothelial cells and astrocytes in response to PRBC cytoadherence and mechanisms involved in mediating these changes.  These studies will be performed using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBEC) and human astrocytes grown in tandem in an in vitro co-culture model, using an advanced model of the blood brain barrier (BBB).

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years
Fees Please see advert
Stipend None - please see advert
Closing date 8 August 2017

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Research Topic Smartphone Sensing System for Health Management and Autoinjector Training
Reference number: FNS GS 2017-03
Abstract

Please see advert for full details.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years.
Fees Open to fully self-funded students only.
Stipend Open to fully self-funded students only.

Please note that self-funded applicants must provide funding for both tuition fees and living expenses for the 3 year duration of the research. There is a future possibility of competitive scholarship awards for outstanding applicants (1st class honours), however, none are currently available.
For information regarding University tuition fees and living costs please see http://www.keele.ac.uk/pgresearch/feesandfinance/ and
http://www.keele.ac.uk/pgresearch/feesandfinance/livingcosts/

Closing date 31st August 2017

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Research Topic Insect behaviour and development on burnt carrion and its effect on postmortem interval estimates
Reference number: FNS GS 2017-05
Abstract

Please see advert for further information.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years.
Fees Funding support is provided as follows;
100% UK/EU tuition fees for 3 years commencing Academic year 2017/18.
Stipend Stipend support for three years at Research Council rates (2017/8 £14,553 per annum). Funding for consumables and conference attendance is available.
Closing date 12th May 2017

Apply online here